Alex Zamalin: Black Utopia: The History of an Idea from Black Nationalism to Afrofuturism (2019)

14 January 2021, dusan

“Within the history of African American struggle against racist oppression that often verges on dystopia, a hidden tradition has depicted a transfigured world. Daring to speculate on a future beyond white supremacy, black utopian artists and thinkers offer powerful visions of ways of being that are built on radical concepts of justice and freedom. They imagine a new black citizen who would inhabit a world that soars above all existing notions of the possible.

In Black Utopia, Alex Zamalin offers a groundbreaking examination of African American visions of social transformation and their counterutopian counterparts. Considering figures associated with racial separatism, postracialism, anticolonialism, Pan-Africanism, and Afrofuturism, he argues that the black utopian tradition continues to challenge American political thought and culture. Black Utopia spans black nationalist visions of an ideal Africa, the fiction of W. E. B. Du Bois, and Sun Ra’s cosmic mythology of alien abduction. Zamalin casts Samuel R. Delany and Octavia E. Butler as political theorists and reflects on the antiutopian challenges of George S. Schuyler and Richard Wright. Their thought proves that utopianism, rather than being politically immature or dangerous, can invigorate political imagination. Both an inspiring intellectual history and a critique of present power relations, this book suggests that, with democracy under siege across the globe, the black utopian tradition may be our best hope for combating injustice.”

Publisher Columbia University Press, New York, 2019
ISBN 9780231187404, 0231187408
x+182 pages

Reviews: Smaran Dayal (Social Text, 2020), David A. Lemke (Utopian Studies, 2020), Francis Shor (J American History, 2020), Ladee Hubbard (TLS, 2019).

Publisher
WorldCat

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Alan Read (ed.): The Fact of Blackness: Frantz Fanon and Visual Representation (1996)

2 August 2020, dusan

“Creating a far-reaching and original dialogue between cultural theory and visual practice, the rich insights which emerge from this publication explain why Frantz Fanon’s seminal texts of the 1950s and 60s – Black Skin, White Masks and The Wretched of the Earth – have re-emerged at the forefront of postcolonial studies.

This collection of texts and dialogues work with Fanon’s ideas in understanding how narrative, the media, image, and symbol lie at the very heart of the practice of politics and social knowledge.

Originating from the symposium Working with Fanon held during the season Mirage: Enigmas of Race, Difference and Desire (ICA, London, 1995).”

Contributors: Martina Attille, Homi K. Bhabha, Renée Green, Stuart Hall, Lyle Ashton Harris, bell hooks, Isaac Julien, Marc Latamie, Steve McQueen, Kobena Mercer, Mark Nash, Raoul Peck, Alan Read, Ntozake Shange, Gilane Tawadros, Françoise Vergès, Lola Young.

Publisher ICA, London, in association with Iniva, London, and Bay Press, Seattle, 1996
ISBN 1900300028, 9781900300025
211 pages

Reviews: David Macey (Radical Philosophy, 1997), Julian Samuel (Race & Class, 1997), D. Soyini Madison (Signs, 1999).

Publisher
WorldCat

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Sylvia Wynter: On Being Human as Praxis (2015)

14 July 2020, dusan

“The Jamaican writer and cultural theorist Sylvia Wynter is best known for her diverse writings that pull together insights from theories in history, literature, science, and black studies, to explore race, the legacy of colonialism, and representations of humanness. Sylvia Wynter: On Being Human as Praxis is a critical genealogy of Wynter’s work, highlighting her insights on how race, location, and time together inform what it means to be human. The contributors explore Wynter’s stunning reconceptualization of the human in relation to concepts of blackness, modernity, urban space, the Caribbean, science studies, migratory politics, and the interconnectedness of creative and theoretical resistances. The collection includes an extensive conversation between Sylvia Wynter and Katherine McKittrick that delineates Wynter’s engagement with writers such as Frantz Fanon, W. E. B. DuBois, and Aimé Césaire, among others; the interview also reveals the ever-extending range and power of Wynter’s intellectual project, and elucidates her attempts to rehistoricize humanness as praxis.”

Essays by Katherine McKittrick, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Walter D. Mignolo, Bench Ansfield, Nandita Sharma, Rinaldo Walcott, Carole Boyce Davies, Demetrius L. Eudell, and a conservation with Sylvia Wynter.

Edited by Katherine McKittrick
Publisher Duke University Press, Durham and London, 2015
ISBN 9780822358343, 0822358344
xiii+290 pages

Reviews: Anthony Bayani Rodriguez (Antipode, 2015), Lea Hülsen (Kult, 2016), Kaiama L. Glover (Contemporary Women’s Writing, 2016), Inge Mathijssen (philoSOPHIA, 2018), Lauren Nelson (E3W Review of Books, 2019).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF, PDF